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Chicago Urban League to Address Equity in Sustainability at May 2 SUMMIT

Leaders from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency among Stellar Line-up of Speakers


The Chicago Urban League will convene more than 300 business and civic leaders to examine issues related to “Equity in Clean Energy and Water” during its 2023 SUMMIT on Tuesday, May 2. The day-long conference will take place at the Marriott Marquis Chicago from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Discussions will explore the roles of corporations, government and community in advancing sustainability, environmental justice, and equity in Illinois’ fast growing renewable energy economy.

“The Chicago Urban League has been preparing individuals from underserved communities for careers in the solar industry since 2017, but we also know that jobs are only one aspect of the inequities our communities face when it comes to clean energy and water,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “SUMMIT 2023 will include a stellar line-up of speakers leading solution-focused conversations and workshops aimed at addressing these issues and promoting sustainability for everyone.”

The day will include three feature conversations:

  • Opening Plenary – “Equity in Clean Energy and Water”
    • Shalaya Morissette, Chief of the Minority Business & Workforce Division U.S. Department of Energy
    • Debra Shore, Region 5 Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    • Moderator: Nakhia Crossley, Director of Government Affairs for ADT Solar
  • Keynote Luncheon – “The Intersection of Sustainability and DEI”
    • Gil Quiniones, CEO of ComEd
    • Alethia Jackson, Senior Vice President, ESG, and Chief DEI Officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance
    • Jessica Muench, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for United Airlines
    • Moderator: Kari Steele, President for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Board of Commissioners
  • Closing Plenary – “Creating a Just and Sustainable City”
    • Kimberly Du Buclet, Vice President, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Board of Commissioners
    • Karen Weaver, Former Mayor of Flint, Mich.
    • Angela Tovar, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago
    • Darnell Johnson, CEO & President for the Urban Efficiency Group
    • Moderator: Naomi Davis, Founder of Blacks in Green

Breakout sessions will feature industry leaders providing information and resources on topics that include: Solar Project Development and Financing, Federal Contracting Process, Green Banks, Private Sector Engagement to Address Climate Change and Promote Green Growth, Demystifying Decarbonization in New & Existing Construction; and Equity, Sustainability and Resilience Project Opportunities for Public Water, Wastewater and Infrastructure.

Along with addressing critical topics, SUMMIT is one of the Chicago Urban League’s signature annual fundraisers that support the organizations work to help people find jobs, secure affordable housing, enhance their education and leadership skills, and grow their businesses.

Full-day tickets are $300. Luncheon-only tickets are $250. In honor of Earth Day, tickets will be available at a 30% discount starting today through Monday, April 24, 2023 at 11:59 p.m., using the code CULED23. To view the full program and purchase tickets, visit

SUMMIT 2023 Innovation Sponsors include GCM Grosvenor and ITW.

To learn more about other upcoming programs and events from the Chicago Urban League, visit You can also follow the League on Facebook and Twitter.